By AJ Agrawal

How Mobile Advertising Will Change The Fitness Industry

  • Think back to the last time you left your home without your smartphone in tow. It’s hard to imagine, right? That’s probably because in this day in age, we’re incredibly dependent on our mobile devices to power us through our days. Our smartphones keep us connected to friends and family, enable us to send emails to clients on the go, allow us to order last-minute Mother’s Day flowers, and give us the opportunity to find directions to any nearby business. Essentially, without our smartphones, we’d all feel a little lost.

    But our mobile devices aren’t just changing our personal lives - they’re also changing how brands connect with current and potential consumers. Thanks to mobile initiatives, brands can connect with anyone at any place and any time of day. Thanks to technology like beacons and geo-targeting, local businesses have the power to send passersby messages and new promotions to entice them to walk through their doors. The boost mobile advertising is providing is especially felt across the booming fitness industry.

    The fitness industry has undergone a massive transformation over the past decade. While most people previously relied on mega box-chain gyms to fuel their fitness goals, today there is a proliferation of boutique studios catering to every possible fitness whim and popping up across cities. Small, niche studios are driving fitness industry growth. While exercisers are hungry for options and willing to spend extra money for the personalized attention and collective energy offered in group classes, boutique studios still face the challenge of convincing people to walk through their studio’s doors versus another studio just a block away.

    Social media advertising, however, is making it easier for new and established studios alike to connect with potential patrons. Before the social media revolution, working out was the kind of daily activity that wasn’t often talked about. Now, however, there’s an entire movement that revolves around exercise social media content. Social media platforms, like Instagram, are changing the way people think about working out. For example, Kayla Itsines is a 25 year old Insta-Exercise phenom, who has amassed a global follower base of 6.8 million people from posting workout routines, before-and-after shots and encouraging her followers to share their own fitness journeys with the Instagram-Fitness community. As a result of personalities like Kayla gaining worldwide fame and acclaim, social media platforms have become inspirational centers. When people need convincing to get back into fitness or want ideas for new types of exercises, they simply open their Instagram feeds and scroll through. The amount of fitness content consumed and shared on social media platforms day in and day out make them the perfect opportunities for emerging fitness organizations to target potential customers through advertising campaigns.

    Organizations don’t have to stop with traditional advertisements, either. People are hungry for fitness content, and the brands that create customer-centric content campaigns can forge deep connections with individual users and gradually build a passionate community. For example, creating social and blog posts around the pain points of working out may strip any intimidation factors new users might feel in signing up for a new class. Social ads and organic content give emerging organizations the opportunity to share their unique voice and offerings. Consumers, especially within the fitness community, want to see authentic content and unique stores.

    In this new age of fitness, where consumers have more choices than ever before, location and accessibility are everything. People don’t have to travel an hour to find a specific workout class anymore, because chances are a similar version already exists in their backyard. New fitness chains and boutique studios have to leverage the power of geo-targeting to get on new users’ radars. Fitness motivation can be fleeting; sometimes all it takes is the right message served at the right time to convince someone to grab their gym bag rather than sit on the couch. However, people may not necessarily be seeking out brand new fitness experiences, so it’s up to brands to understand their target audience, and create campaigns that are highly relevant.

    The fitness industry is really anyone’s game right now. Sure, there are major chains like SoulCycle and Corepower that take up a significant market share across cities, but small, local studios also have the opportunity to maintain a firm foothold and expand beyond their original regions. But it takes more than an interest class format and qualified teachers to really put a new fitness venture on the map; boutique studios have to consistently create engaging, community-first content, and leverage local PPC tools to push their messages out to their respective communities.

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